@CTVLondon We were victims of a hate crime in St Thomas Ontario. A guy got mad, because we were talking in Spanish . He was about to hit my son who is 13th years old, but my Hubby jumped while the aggressor swings the baseball bat. pic.twitter.com/4tuqSPAH8K— Mari UX (@Mari__ux) December 8, 2017
Footage of a man attacking a Colombian family of three with a baseball bat while shouting “ISIS” and “French terrorists” in a Canadian parking lot has gone viral for its horrifying first-hand account.
Authorities tell the National Post that they believe the attack in St. Thomas, Ontario which shows a white male swinging his bat towards the family could have been “racially motivated” as the attack was “unprovoked.”
The CBC reports Sergio Estepa, who protected his 13-year-old son and wife against the attacker, is currently nursing a cracked rib and large bruise after the attack.
“[The attacker] started saying we don’t belong here, that we are speaking French. But we were not speaking French, we were speaking Spanish. We don’t know him,” said Estepa.
Estapa’s son recorded the footage, which hit social media and shocked users who found it hard to believe racism was prevalent in what is considered by tourists as one of the nicest places in the world.
Folks racism in Canada is real https://t.co/aWTqmcz8am— Jason (@JHagholm1) December 8, 2017
If you're the person running around wirh a baseball bat, threatening people, who's the terrorist? https://t.co/ZvnLrelwbY— Carolyn Rohaly (@CarolynRohaly) December 8, 2017
The attacker, Mark Phillips, who drove off in a BMW after the assault, was found in London, Ontario, half an hour north from the parking lot in which he assaulted the family.
Phillips is charged with aggravated assault, three counts of assault with a weapon and has been denied bail. The 36-year-old will remain in jail until Monday.